Your Complete Guide to the Uber Application
For most drivers, an Uber application can be the difference between paying to drive and getting paid to drive.
Driving for Uber is one of the easiest ways to become your own boss, plus it allows you to start earning with little to no investment. However, just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s completely cut and dried. To ensure the safety of all passengers, the rideshare company takes a handful of precautions to ensure you’re both trustworthy and qualified.
In this article, we’ll guide your through the entire Uber application from start to finish to ensure your process goes smoothly. Keep reading, so you won’t be surprised by any background checks or document requests.
Before You Begin
There’s no reason to waste time on your Uber application if you don’t expect to be approved. Every driver is required to fulfill a set of minimum requirements to even be considered for the gig. Before applying, know that you must:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Have a valid United States driver’s license.
- Have at least one year of licensed driving experience, or three if you’re under 23.
- Own an iPhone or Android that’s compatible with the Uber Driver app.
- Have a clean criminal record with no major driving violations.
- Have a modern four-door vehicle in good condition.
- Have proof of car insurance and registration in your state.
Most drivers who meet the above requirements are typically eligible to drive standard economy services like UberX and UberPool, as long as your car can seat at least four passengers and can pass a vehicle inspection. However, if you’re aiming to earn more money with more expensive services, you may need to meet additional requirements to proceed. For example:
- UberXL drivers must be able to seat six passengers.
- Uber Select drivers must own mid-tier luxury sedans, like Audi or BMW models. These vehicles must be 10 years old or newer and have leather or vinyl seats.
- Uber Black drivers must own high-end vehicles, like Cadillac or Mercedes-Benz models, with black exteriors and black leather interiors. Professional drivers are required for this service, so you must have commercial insurance and a TCP permit.
It may also be worth checking your city’s vehicle requirements page to ascertain if Uber is even accepting drivers for your preferred vehicle type. This is especially important for luxury services, especially the ultra high-end Uber Lux, which Uber limits to keep prices high. You should also know that Uber is only accepting Uber Eats drivers in New York City, due to local regulations for rideshare companies.
To go to your local vehicle requirements page, use the link “uber.com/drive/city-name/vehicle-requirements” and replace “city-name” with the name of the Uber market closest to you. For example, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland drivers would all use the link “uber.com/drive/san-francisco/vehicle-requirements” to reach their page.
Starting Your Uber Application Process
If you’ve met all of the criteria above, you’re one step closer to becoming an Uber driver. You can start the application process by using our link and filling in the requested information including your name, email, phone number, and city. If you’d prefer to use your mobile app to start signing up, all you need to do is:
- Download the Uber Driver app from your smartphone’s Google Play Store or App Store. (Make sure you’re not downloading the regular Uber app for riders.)
- Select “Register” on the front page of the app.
- Fill in the requested information and input “REEAv” in the Invite Code section.
The next screen that appears will double check that you have an eligible vehicle. Note that you will need to take your vehicle to your local Greenlight Hub or partnered mechanic and complete a vehicle inspection before you can drive. Good news: Uber will cover this cost.
Completing Your Background Check
The Uber background check is a complimentary and required part of the application process that ensures you can be trusted to provide safe, reliable rides. This service is conducted by Checkr, a popular background check provider for a handful of rideshare services.
The background check will primarily look at two items, which are your:
- Criminal history: Anyone who has received a felony conviction (especially for violent, sexual, or drug related crimes) within the last seven years will likely be barred from driving with Uber. Being listed on the national sex offender list also provides grounds for automatic denial.
- Driving history: In addition to checking your DMV history to ensure that you have enough experience to drive, you’ll also be screened for any major violations within the past seven years. DUIs and reckless driving charges are both disqualifying. A minor ticket here and there won’t count against you, but you shouldn’t have more than three violations in the past three years.
To start the background check process, you’ll be prompted to provide your social security number, upload your driver’s license, and approve the terms. If you’re interested, you’ll also have the option to request a copy of your background check when it’s complete, which can provide you with closure if you don’t pass.
Your background check will take approximately five to seven days to process, but you can check your screening status anytime on the Checkr portal.
Because your background check won’t be immediately completed, the Uber application process will automatically take you to the next steps as soon as you’ve entered all the necessary information. This part is simple, and only requires you to upload your required documents, including:
- Your driver’s license.
- Proof of insurance coverage for your vehicle.
- Proof of registration for your vehicle.
Now that your part is complete, getting your final approval to drive is a waiting game. As we mentioned before, your background check will take up to seven days — or longer, if you’re notified of any delays — but this will be the most time-consuming part of the approval process.
In the meantime, download the Uber Driver app if you haven’t already. This way, once you’re approved, you can get to know the app and finalize your profile immediately. Most importantly, for you to make money using Uber, you will need to submit your payment information. No credit card is required. You just need to provide your checking account’s routing number and account number to receive a direct deposit of your weekly fares every Thursday.
Frequently Asked Questions
Taking on the Uber application isn’t a difficult process, but it is the make-it-or-break-it moment in your Uber driving career. Here are our answers to frequently asked questions to help you understand what the application entails:
1. Will I ever have to resubmit my documents?
If any of your documents are about to expire, Uber will notify you that a new upload is required. The only other reason you may need to resubmit your documents is if your images were blurry or unable to be verified.
For safety purposes, the Uber Driver app may sometimes prompt you to take a picture of yourself before you head to a pick-up location to ensure you’re the driver at the wheel.
2. Is it easier to pass the Uber or Lyft background check?
Both companies are equally strict (or lax, depending on your view) when reviewing background checks. Lyft and Uber have no-tolerance policies against violent and sexual crimes, and will not accept anyone with drug-related felonies within the past seven years. Major moving violations will also get you a fast rejection.
3. What will my vehicle inspection entail?
The primary function of the vehicle inspection is to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive and will provide a comfortable ride for customers. The Uber vehicle inspection, which mirrors Lyft’s vehicle inspection, covers 19 major areas of your vehicle. Here are a few examples of what your inspector will be looking for:
- Functioning turn indicator lights that aren’t on the verge of burning out.
- A fully aligned steering wheel that’s in good condition.
- Undamaged muffler and exhaust system.
- Tires that are in good condition and are matching in size and style.
Take Advantage of Your License to Drive
If you enjoy being on the road and want to make money on your own schedule, becoming a ridesharing driver could be a good fit — and completing your Uber application is the first step. If you’re interested in weighing your options as a driver, be sure to take a look at our guide to Lyft driver requirements, which gives you all the information you need to make a decision that’s right for you.
No spam, just stories.
Subscribe to the Gigworker.com newsletter and never miss a gig-economy story.
*We don't spam, we promise.